Texas Tavola: A Taste of Sicily in the Lone Star State (2007), 34 min. Circe Sturm and Randolph Lewis, dirs.
Sanctuary of Love: The Mission of Salvatore Verdirome (1997), 30 min. Eric Gearity, dir.
These two films consider contemporary Sicilian-American religious practices and the material culture in Texas and Connecticut, respectively. Texas Tavola looks at the Italian-American communities of the Lone Star state, with their roots in the Sicilian towns of Poggioreale, Salaparuta, and Corleone. Each March 19th, a single family constructs a temporary domestic altar (tavola) as a votive act in thanks to St. Joseph. Decorated with hundreds of homemade breads and cakes, the family provides food and tradition to hundreds of guests. Sanctuary of Love: The Mission of Salvatore Verdirome, in turn, chronicles the religious vision of Salvatore Verdirome, a carpenter who landscaped his terraced backyard with scores of bathtub shrines for the Madonna in Norwich. Verdirome’s public expression of religiosity and artistry made this folk environment both a place of solace and a source for debate in a re-industrialized city attempting to remake itself.
Post-screening discussion with the directors led by Kay Turner, Brooklyn Arts Council.